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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Chairmain Waxman, I think I have an answer

Iraq’s No. 2 Health Official Is Held and Accused of Financing Shiite Militants

Published: February 9, 2007

BAGHDAD, Feb. 8 — Iraqi and American troops arrested the second highest official in the Iraqi Health Ministry on Thursday, charging that he funneled millions of dollars to rogue Shiite militants who kidnapped and killed Iraqi civilians.

The United States military said in a statement that the official was suspected of using his position to run a rogue unit of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia that claims loyalty to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr. The statement accused the official of flooding the Health Ministry’s payroll with militants, embezzling American money meant to pay for Iraq’s overworked medical system and using Health Ministry “facilities and services for sectarian kidnapping and murder.”

The military’s statement did not identify the official, but several Iraqi government officials said he was Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili, a Shiite with longstanding ties to the Sadr organization. An Interior Ministry official said the authorities in recent weeks had come to believe that Mr. Zamili was using government ambulances to ferry weapons and militants across Sadr City, hiding them from American raids.

I can safely conclude that American money killed Americans

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